The Argentine Foreign Ministry denied in a statement released on Thursday that Buenos Aires sea port authorities threatened Bermuda registered 'Queen Victoria' Cunard cruise ship with hefty fines if it did not lower its “red duster” flag, the ensign for the United Kingdom merchant vessels.
“They are totally false rumors released by a British television channel and disappointingly repeated by local media such as Clarín and La Nacion, regrets the Foreign ministry.
According to a report from the Argentine Coast Guard to the Ministry, the 'Queen Victoria' is registered in Bermudas Islands, and thus must fly that flag when entering Argentine ports. In effect 'Queen Victoria' entered the port of Buenos Aires 28 January, from Montevideo, and left on the same day for Puerto Madryn and later to Ushuaia with any inconveniences. The ship did not violate any regulations and abided by all rules and no infractions were sanctioned” in any of the three ports.
It must be added that so far the Foreign Office nor the British Embassy in Buenos Aires have contacted Argentine authorities in reference to the 'nonexistent incident'
In an article published in several British newspapers, a former First Sea Lord, Admiral Lord West, who served in the Falklands War claimed that while “dining in the ship with the captain one night, she told how she had been threatened with a fine of 10,000 dollars, and warned there would be trouble, if she didn't take down the red ensign”.
Finally the Argentine release reiterates that the British authorities instead of repeating false rumors should accept their obligation of abiding by UN resolutions which call for a bilateral negotiation to resolve the sovereignty dispute referred to the Malvinas, South Georgia, South Sandwich Islands and adjoining maritime spaces.
The release includes a copy of the report from the Argentine Coast Guard saying operations in the three ports were completely normal with no inconveniences.